Programmes of productions by the Glasgow School of Art Dramatic Club, Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content

Contains 28 performance programmes; as well as a poster, drawings of the stage extensions and set designs for the March 1960 production of Hot Summer Night.

The collection is incomplete.

Other plays known of are:

1971/72 -"Johnny Jouk the Gibbet" (Daily Mail photo)

1972/73 -"The Devils" play by John Whiting based on "The Devils of Loudon" by Aldous Huxley. Presented at Haldane Building Theatre 14 - 7 March 1972. Produced by Stephen Mulrine. Costumes by Margaret Grant & assistant. Stage set by Sue Dunlop. .

1973/74 -"A Macbeth" - A collage version of Shakesper's tragedy by Charles Marowitz, presented at GSA Haldane Theatre 21 -24 Mar 1973. Produced by Stephen Mulrine, set by Jim Johnston, Costumes Designed by Margaret Grant. Make-up designed by Romilly Squire

1974 /75 - No mention of Drama Society

1975/76 - There is mention of Drama Society but then no further mention until 1989/90 when it is again mentioned in the prospectus.

1994/95 - No mention of Drama Society.

Administrative / Biographical History

Theatre productions have been prominent at the Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland, since the production of Masques by Fra Newbery in the early 1900s which were designed, costumed and enacted by staff and students of the GSA.

A Dramatic Club started in 1922 with productions of St. George & the Dragon and a Mummer's Play (the earliest extant programme is from 1925), and was lead by a group of students and staff, notably Dorothy Carleton Smythe. In 1928 they proclaimed their objectives in the programme:

i. To produce plays of Artistic interest to students and Artists

ii. To promote the study of the Art of Theatre

iii. To promote by performance and readings of plays the study of Dramatic Literature

This Dramatic Club produced two or three plays a year until 1934. Many members of the group were also interested in cine-film and active in the Kinecraft Society. Cast lists for 1931 and 1934 respectively, include Alexander MacKendrick (the director of Whisky Galore and Norman McLaren (animator and film maker). The plays were usually staged in the Lecture Theatre in the Mackintosh Building, although after 1930 some were put on in the Assembly Hall at 168 Renfrew Street. The group was also renowned for its displays of classical drapery, which could include up to 40 students.

The Dramatic Club was re-established in the 1957-58 session, and in 1958 presented three one-act plays. This "rough and ready effort" led to a general resurgence of interest and for the next 20 years a play was produced every session. H. Jefferson Barnes (Registrar at the time and Director of the GSA 1694-1980 ) was the Stage Director in the three productions of 1960-1962 and Stage Manager in 1963. Plays were performed in the Mackintosh Lecture Theatre, the Assembly Hall, the Glasgow Concert Hall, Jordanhill College of Education and in Edinburgh .

The Dramatic Club was also known as the Dramatic Society, the Dramatic Section, the Amateur Dramatic Society and the Drama Club.


The programmes are arranged chronologically.

Access Information

Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections are open for research by appointment.

Other Finding Aids

An item level list of the collection is available in the search room.

Alternative Form Available

No known copies.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

There are no physical characteristics that affect the use of this material.

Archivist's Note

Fonds level description compiled by Adele Ashley-Smith, Archivist, 2000-2001. Updated by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 6 September 2001. Updated by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 14 May 2002. Item level descriptions imported from Word document by Kimberly Sommerville, Archives Assistant, 8 February 2010. Archives Hub description updated by Carrie Skinner, Logjam Project Officer, September 2011

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections standard procedures.

Custodial History


Related Material

Further information concerning the Dramatic Club and its productions may be gained from the GSA's collection of newspaper cuttings available in the search room.


There are no known publications using this material.